March 26, 2023


From the first moment seeing Stela, to the moments playing Stela, to the journey’s end of Stela, two words best describe Stela, Simplistically Stunning! This is our review of Stela from SkyBox Labs.


Name: Stela
SkyBox Labs
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (Review), Steam, Xbox One, Apple Arcade
Release Date: Available Now

From the first-moment seeing Stela to the moments playing Stela, to the journey’s end of Stela, two words best describe Stela, Simplistically Stunning!

Stela can be best described as a cinematic platformer.

In Stela, you play as an unnamed young woman, awakening in a cave by a mysterious totem. There are no words, instructions or directions. Well, when it comes to directions, just head to the right. One might say, just head East.

Exiting the cave, you set out on a journey that feels that you, the player, as well as the character on the screen, is out searching for the answers. There seem to be no other humans around and the world, the environment, nature, and everything is in a state of destruction and turmoil. Almost everything you face is there to erase your existence.

The look and design of Stela is quite noteworthy. The game looks like a muted oil painting, beautiful. The varying areas with their color palettes are complimentary. One moment you are journeying through a treacherous, shadowy woods, being hunted by strange humanoid creatures only to be then finding your way across a burning wasteland, then face traveling across a snow thick deep tundra, then on to more. All breathtakingly beautiful.

Another aspect that brought Stela to life was the music in the game! The music selections set the mode ever bit of the journey. It gave sense isolation and lost at one moment then it would ramp up speeding up your heart rate as the impending danger was close by.

Stela’s controls encompass its simplistic design, only three buttons, you move with the left stick, you jump, you grab, that’s it. Using this control will take you to the end of your journey, mastering them will determine how few deaths you have. On your first run, you will die. However, death from the many traps and puzzles, we found wasn’t frustrating but instead became a learning experience as to what to do and not do. It also helped that the checkpoints were very generous so death didn’t feel like you would have to travel very far back to where you left off from.

Playing Stela, comparisons with games like Limbo would be easy to do and Stela would rightly fit perfectly among those games. From the start, they drop the player in a place of total darkness, not knowing what to do or where to go or even who you are. Then reveals it slowly as the journey ends. And wow what a journey!

Stela is a game, a journey, a discovery, that offers a breath of fresh air in the gaming ecosystem. A game that at the end, you will want to discuss your thoughts of what you came across in your journey and what the meanings were. Stela, in two words, Simplistically Stunning!

As members of the media for Video Games and related news, Confident Gamers was provided with a Review Key in order to provide a fair opinion of the game and it’s components